It had started quite well and I really would have liked to have given a better star rating but things went downhill on the morning we left, so I’m afraid they are very lucky to receive even 3 stars from me.
So, to start – the good things:
On arrival I was quickly greeted by a receptionist who checked us in – gave us the famous warm chocolate chip cookies and gave us directions to the nearest other car park. They were fully booked for the weekend (no doubt because of the Bruce Springsteen concert which we were also going to) so I did not expect to get parking in the hotel car park.
My husband had booked a Deluxe King (this was a birthday treat for me as were the tickets to Brucie!) which included the Deluxe package (complimentary mini bar, breakfast, late check out and morning paper) but when I emailed the day before to check breakfast was definitely included I was emailed back telling me it wasn’t. Then on arrival the receptionist said it was!
Our room, although spacious, was a little shabby in places with a desk chair that had had all sorts of food stains and other grubby marks. The bathroom, however, was spotless and very well lit. The bed was very comfortable. The complimentary mini bar had beer, coke, half bottle of wine and snacks – all very nice, so I forgave the grubby chair. We went to the main bar area for a drink before leaving for the concert and this had a great lively atmosphere with a good cocktail menu and complimentary bar snacks. I had requested information about booking a cab to the concert in my email and had been told simply go to reception at the time I wanted one and one would arrive in 2 minutes. So I did exactly that and was told I should have booked in advance, as there was now at least a 20-minute wait. After pleading with the receptionist to keep trying, we eventually got one 15 minutes later. I also requested our morning newspaper with the same receptionist. So far a couple of things had been at odds with the email I had received the day before but still not enough to bother me.
It was the next morning everything seemed to go downhill. Firstly our newspaper failed to materialise. Not so bad but a little annoying. We were then greeted at the restaurant by a friendly member of staff who told us that there were no tables available at the moment and would we like to take a seat in the Blue Bar. I have NEVER experienced this in any restaurant at breakfast time ever, however understood that we might have arrived at a very busy time. We were then left, along with several other people, waiting for half an hour before we were called for our table. I assumed all the tables would be very busy but they weren’t. Plenty of empty tables of various sizes just waiting for guests– I counted at least 6. Then we queued up for our hot buffet breakfast. And this is where is seriously began to annoy me. 3 huge empty dishes proved that there were no sausages nor black pudding left, no hash browns, no mushrooms and no beans, the brown sauce container was completely empty and the ‘toast your own’ bread had completely run out. It was ridiculous, when there was a queue of at least 10 people just standing waiting. A waitress took away the empty dishes saying she’d be back soon but we realised she was unaware of the brown sauce and bread situation. We told the woman, who appeared to be in charge of the restaurant, what else was missing and her response was ‘chef is aware’. How on earth is it the chef’s responsibility to restock the bread and brown sauce! And there we stood, with other perplexed guests, waiting with our scrambled eggs congealing on our plates before eventually bits and pieces showed up.
The breakfast was actually very nice but by the time we finished we had been out of our room for almost an hour and had to rush. I watched several other very disgruntled people waiting for food and other guests waiting to be seated looking incredulously at the empty tables. It is obvious that the situation wasn’t so much a sudden rush of hotel guests for breakfast but very poor organisation, resulting in insufficient staff to manage the influx of hotel guests for breakfast. They obviously had the capacity and I have seen plenty other hotel restaurants with full tables at breakfast but never anyone waiting for more than a few minutes. The poor organisation was even worse when they must have know the day before, how many guest they had and how many would be having breakfast. And even if they only realised their cock up by 10am they could easily have redeployed staff from the over manned reception area; even if just to restock the bread and relay the tables!
The final straw came when we returned to our room to discover we were locked out. Luckily it took me so long to get back to reception because of waiting so long for the lift that I was relatively calm when I complained about not being able to get into our room. It was gone 11 by now and usual check out would have been 11. Our package included late check out but once again someone somewhere did not seem to know what our package included. The male receptionist curtly told me that they had NOT locked us out but that we must have put the key card next to a mobile phone. Obviously entirely our fault and of course we should have known that! Oddly our key had worked fine the day and evening before and that morning we left for breakfast without any mobile phones so his excuse/accusation did not ring true with me. It was just, once again, a way to avoid an apology. Similar to ‘Chef is aware’ response in the restaurant. It is a real shame when staff stubbornly refuse to apologise fearing they, or the venue, will lose face, even though apologising and graciously putting something right can actually enhance customer satisfaction.
So really, 3 stars is very generous of me considering our experience included the following:
An email telling me our package did not include breakfast when it did
An email telling me I didn’t need to book a cab in advance when really I should have done (and yes they knew about the concert)
A grubby food stained chair
A newspaper that didn’t show up
Being forced to wait 30 minutes for a table for breakfast
No food available even when seated for breakfast
Being locked out of our room because they had forgotten we had a late check out
This is a nice, modern hotel in a great location but they seriously need to work on their staff training, capacity planning and operations management or the 4.5 star rating here will drop.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- DoubleTree by Hilton Manchester Piccadilly occupies a landmark site on the new Piccadilly Place development. The hotel reflects the vibrancy of the city, and is located close to major national rail connections. Relax in the sophisticated surroundings of our restaurant or our alluring Piccadilly Lounge and vibrant Blue Bar, then rest in hotel rooms styled with absolute consideration for your comfort. All with excellent facilities for leisure or business guests including iMac computers and complimentary wi-fi in all rooms. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Doubletree By Hilton Manchester Piccadilly Hotel Manchester
- City Hotel Manchester
- Manchester City Hotel
- City Inn Manchester